Here’s an interesting article in the New York Times: On the Web, Workshops That Help Shoppers Create One-of-a-Kind Gifts.

Sites like, and Blue Nile can help you create everything from personalized stamps with your family’s photo, to a recipe book with pictures and handwritten recipes, to a custom designed diamond ring.

Unlike past customizable products (t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads), advances in manufacturing have significantly increased the quality, range and degree of customization of products.

My favorite is DNA 11 where you can take a sample of anyone’s DNA (human or pet) and turn it into artwork. The article shows a beautiful painting made from the DNA of the company co-founder’s Beagle.

I have embraced the homemade spirit and have given many friends and my children’s teachers homemade Zucchini bread. It’s a simple recipe and turns out perfect every time.

But the sites mentioned in the article take homemade to a new level. They are fun, and you are able to make multiple gifts at once, and from the one I’ve tries (Zazzle) they are very easy to use.

Maybe it’s too late for this holiday, (or maybe not if you go on-line now) but keep this in mind for next year, or other gifts throughout the year. These types of “customizing” gift sites could be an option for “home made meets high tech” gifts, and are another opportunity to make your brand more visible.

Have you dabbled in on-line customizable gifts? What’s your twist?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.